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China Day celebrations in Pairi Daiza a great success

On 28 June, the Chinese Mission to the EU held a "China Day" event in the Belgian zoological gardens of Pairi Daiza. The event attracted thousands of participants from a range of EU and Belgian institutions. Officials from the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the European Parliament and the Belgian institutions as well as international diplomats, European School students and teachers, think tank experts, journalists and interested members of the general public.


After quintessential Chinese traditional music and dance, Ambassador Yang Yanyi opened the event and explained the significance for the event to take place in Pairi Daiza. In March this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Belgian King Philip jointly inaugurated the garden's "Panda Park", which now hosts two Chinese friendship ambassadors – Xinghui (star) and Haohao (good) –Giant Pandas who symbolise the good will of the Chinese people. The Mission of China wished to further share and promote our joint friendship with the people of Europe; thus the idea of the "China Day" celebrations.


The Chinese Garden of Pairi Daiza is the largest of its kind in Europe, and offers an authentic taste of traditional Chinese architecture and landscape design, effectively recreating the beauty of China's southeast region. Xinghui and Haohao certainly add to the authenticity, and are always the real stars of any show. Other attractions abounded on "China Day" however: In the antique Chinese teahouse, guests were invited to take part in a traditional tea ceremony and learn from the Master about the spirit of tea culture. In the "House of Delicacies", Belgian Chinese artists demonstrated the beauty of Chinese calligraphy, the twists and turns of ink patterns taking word to art. In the zigzag corridor, Erhu artists coaxed magic from their two-string instruments. Exotic melodies of five-string pipa and bamboo flute were to be discerned drifting from the delicate hexagonal pavilion. There was also plenty to offer for the more active, with a variety of traditional Chinese games underway in the children's playground. The prize draw also put smiles on many faces, especially the lucky winners of air tickets to China!


The China Day was a great success. The people were having fun. The Chinese Mission was also greatly rewarded by the positive reports of our guests, many of which were carried over by Belgian National television and Chinese media. We look forward to many more such opportunities to help increase awareness and understanding of China's rich culture and diversity and deepen our cooperation and friendship with our European partners. 

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